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On our bookshelf this month: The word in deep water

In this gripping look at our oceans, Alex Rogers tackles big issues such as pollution and exploitation, and marvels at how it is we know so little about life beneath the waves

By Connor McGovern, Sarah Barrell
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:21 BST, Updated 19 Jul 2021, 15:27 BST
On our bookshelf this month: The word in deep water
The Deep explores our oceans

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings, but while we’ve been busy exploring space over the past half a century, we haven’t been quite as inquisitive here at home. A dozen astronauts have made it to the Moon, but only three have ventured to the Challenger Deep — at a depth of seven miles, the lowest point on our planet.

While many of us won’t make it as far as the Marianas Trench, Alex Rogers, a professor of conservation biology at Oxford University who worked as a scientific consultant on the BBC series Blue Planet II, has devoted the past three decades to discovering our deepest, darkest seas and all that thrives within them. His years of exploration, from the stormy North Atlantic to Antarctica, have culminated in The Deep, an ode to the world’s least understood ecosystem. Containing captivating photos of the weird and wonderful creatures that lurk beneath the waves, this book takes an unflinching look at the issues affecting our oceans, including pollution and commercial exploitation. But The Deep is a lot more than a slap on the wrists from one of the world’s leading marine biologists. Rogers takes us on a personal underwater odyssey, sharing his own fascinating experiences and discoveries. He remains cautiously optimistic about the fate of the ocean; ultimately, he concludes, its future is in our hands.

The Deep, by Alex Rogers, is published by Wildfire. RRP: £20. Available from 18 April.

We’re also reading: Books on buildings

Future Cities
Paul Dobraszczyk looks at how the cityscapes once dreamed up by artists and architects are slowly becoming a reality as climate change and overpopulation take hold.
RRP: £18 (Reaktion Books)

Calatrava: Complete Works
Architect Santiago Calatrava’s fascination for aesthetics is laid bare here with beautifully documented case studies of his most celebrated designs.
RRP: £45 (Taschen)

Best of Bauhaus
To mark the centenary of Bauhaus, former archivist Magdalena Droste has updated this definitive tome, packed with original drawings, blueprints and over 200 new photos.
RRP: £40 (Taschen)

Published in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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